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HAWAIIANMAMMA's Photo HAWAIIANMAMMA Posts: 2,792
1/21/13 10:51 A

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Wow! What a fantastic thread! Thanks for sharing, everyone. I plan on using my REI return to purchase cold/wet weather hiking gear and this helps!

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


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JSTETSER's Photo JSTETSER SparkPoints: (108,831)
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1/21/13 10:02 A

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Here's a blog about winter hiking!
http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public
_journal_summary.asp?id=JSTETSER



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SUSUSUZZZIE's Photo SUSUSUZZZIE Posts: 7,002
1/20/13 10:22 P

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE, thank you so much!

Hubby and I tend to disagree about being prepared for an overnight, but I hear about people falling off the trail or getting lost and I want to be prepared. And our warm-season doesn't last long and probably isn't all that warm at night.

Thank you again everyone for the terrific tips!

Suzie


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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 33,955
1/19/13 9:30 A

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This may be obvious and if it is, I apologize but you said you are somewhat new so thought I'd mention that 'cotton kills' as we say around here. That is, do not wear jeans, cotton or cotton-blend shirts, cotton undies or anything like that when hiking in conditions that could turn cold because it holds moisture and will rob your body of it's warmth.

I've also carried hand-warmers and/or body-warmers as an emergency item in cold conditions, even though I rarely end up using them. I've been brainwashed to think of the worst possible situation and always prepare to 'spend the night' even if I am just planning to go out for a couple of hours. The thing is that you never know when something really awful will happen [like falling and breaking a leg or a sudden whiteout condition, just to name two examples] and a 2-hour hike can turn into a 10-hour hike really fast. A 10-hour hike at the wrong time of day can translate quickly into an overnight stay.

So I like to carry an emergency blanket [the 'emergency bag' type is better in snow or wind], hand/body warmers, a small amount of extra food and water, etc, when hiking in the mountains in winter. At the same time, of course, you don't want a 40-lb pack for a short hike so it's a matter of using common sense based on the specific conditions - a heavily-traveled trail near the city obviously doesn't call for as many precautions as a remote trail where you might not see anyone else for days. Over the years, I've collected a lot of light-weight 'emergency gear' that could save my life if I got stranded under bad conditions - the whole collection of emergency items weighs only a couple of pounds and I don't always need all of it so I pick and choose depending on where I'm going and who I'm going with.

I'll second the idea of layers, gaiters and hiking poles, too - even in warmer or drier weather, short gaiters can keep ticks out of your pants and socks and hiking poles distribute the effort across your body, which prevents injuries and increases calorie burn as much as 40% according to some studies. I think arm warmers are the best invention ever along with ear warmers and gloves, of course. Sometimes it's not that I need more 'warmth' but just protection from the wind so I often find that a really light rain jacket [like the Marmot PreCip] and matching rain pants keep me warmer than another layer of wool.

Have a great time hiking!!

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 12,827
1/15/13 11:47 P

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My boyfriend is the same way as your husband! He's always thinking I'm overdressed, and I'm freezing! So I just make myself comfortable (as I can) and do my own thing. He'd wear sandals in the snow, I think, and be just fine with it!

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SUSUSUZZZIE's Photo SUSUSUZZZIE Posts: 7,002
1/15/13 12:25 A

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Thank you so much for the tips!

Getting the layers of clothing right has been a challenge for me and I've come to realize it is going to take practice and preparations to be flexible. It doesn't help that hubby's comfort-zone is so different from mine.

I love the idea of taking something warm with us! That would be a tremendous boost and there's nothing like something to warm you from within when feeling a bit chilled.

I also love the idea of arm warmers.

Thank you so much! All of these suggestions will help us all year round!



Suzie


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CSAGIRL's Photo CSAGIRL Posts: 234
1/13/13 10:27 A

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Excellent advice, everyone. Thank you! And, thanks for the original post, too!

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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,229
1/12/13 12:44 A

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Temperature management in cold conditions is very important.

Many people wear far too many clothes while hiking in the cold, they get sweaty, then the moisture in their clothes then leaves them shivering when they stop. A moderate or steep climb can have you generating serious amounts of body heat. Personally, I am often fine in still conditions close to freezing hiking in just a woolen T-shirt (and then pile on more clothing as soon as I stop).

Layering is key here. Things like arms warmers or a beanie that you can whip off and shove in your pocket without having to stop and futz around with your pack are a good idea in terms of managing your temperature when starting off for the day, or as you transition from climbing to descending.

The thermos suggestion is a good one - a quick cup of coffee or instant soup can help warm you up if conditions are unexpectedly cold (and do wonders for morale). A superlightweight stove (eg. a cat can stove) might actually be a lighter option than lugging a thermos full of hot water all the way from home, but the thermos option is simpler and faster.

And leaving some warm dry clothes in the car at the trailhead can be nice for the return journey.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 12,827
1/11/13 9:52 P

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yep, go for the gaiters, and dress in layers, you'll warm up going uphill, but when you come back down, you may become chilled, so layers are good, as well as hat, gloves (and extra gloves or over mitts if you get cold fingers like I do). Poles are good for slippery conditions, and just for stability in general over rough terrain. If it's really icy the yaktrax may help, but lightweight crampons may be better. depends on conditions, they may just be extra weight in your pack.

If it's going to be really cold, you may want a thermos of warm liquid (tea or lemon water, even cocoa to drink, and keep in mind water can freeze if it does get that cold, and you can end up with no water (it's happened to me...)



highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: more practical new goal, 129, update ticker to reflect that goal.

H: 5''4" 50 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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SUSUSUZZZIE's Photo SUSUSUZZZIE Posts: 7,002
1/11/13 11:57 A

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We are lucky enough to live in the Pacific NW where we can probably hike year around, but we're newish hikers and winter hiking makes me nervous. I'm wondering if any of you have tips beyond finding some appropriate trails (and I have a few that should work for us ). Our hikes tend to be 3-8 miles in length and so far we really haven't done anything way off the beaten path.

I love being outside in moderate rain, a little cold, fog, etc. It makes me feel more in touch with being outside and I'm don't want a little weather keep me inside any longer.

While we don't plan to do any serious snow-hiking, I don't want to avoid a hike because there may be some snow at the top of a hike. We expect to deal with more rain and mud than snow.

We carry our 10 essentials plus a little more food, water and warm clothes than we'd typically carry in the summer

We have snox-trax or whatever they are called.

I was looking at gaiters and they look like a good idea

We don't always take hiking poles but I imagine they can be more important in wed, muddy and possibly icy/snow conditions.

What else do we need? Do you have recommendations, tips or even hiking book suggestions that may help us feel more confident in "less than perfect" weather conditions?


Edited by: SUSUSUZZZIE at: 1/11/2013 (11:58)
Suzie


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